Wednesday, Feb. 8 was a successful day at the American Red Cross blood drive hosted in the Granite State Room of the Memorial Union Building (MUB) at UNH. Throughout the day, many students waited patiently for their turn to donate.
Several mobile unit assistants (MUAs) were on hand to help out with the drive, completing tasks such as processing blood samples and driving the Red Cross trucks.
Some of the workers even collected blood samples from volunteers, a practice formally known as phlebotomy.
According to an MUA there on Wednesday, the average drive collects between 20-25 units (pints) a day , and by 1 p.m. that day, they had collected 35 units of blood.
Members from the UNH Red Cross Club on campus were volunteering, manning different posts of the event. Working the snack table was junior exercise science major and aspiring physical therapist, Brittany Catcher.
“I used to volunteer in a hospital in Boston and saw how much blood was used, so when I came to UNH, I wanted to help that process. We help with two big blood drives at UNH, which is good because we get people from the community and students to come and donate,” Catcher said.
There was also a table displaying stuffed animals to take home for those who donated $10 to the Disaster Relief Fund.
Several students at the drive said they donate regularly, including sophomore psychology and justice studies double major Kristin Spink, and graduate student Ethan Ely, who studies civil engineering.
“Back in the day I had a pretty bad car accident and needed a bit of blood myself, so I felt that I needed to give back what I got. Someone was nice enough to give me their blood so I felt I should ‘replenish the stock,’ if you would,” Ely said.
“I give blood regularly when [blood drives are held] at UNH…it’s one of the easiest ways to give back to people,” Spink said.
For Amanda Eagles, a junior communication sciences and disorders major and a member of the UNH Red Cross Club, this event marked the first occasion of her donating blood.
“I’ve tried to donate before but never met some of the requirements in the past during high school, and last semester there were too many people after I tried to just walk in, so this year I made an appointment,” Eagles said.
“I’m trying to do all I can for the community and give blood and hopefully help out someone who needs it,” she said.
But not all students can make it to the drive; some just don’t have the time, while others have bigger fears.
Senior social work major Jessica Lynch claims she’s just never taken the opportunity.
“If someone pulled me aside to the MUB, I would, but I just never really thought about it or had the time,” Lynch said.
Freshman wildlife biology major David Simek, on the other hand, has a fear that holds him back.
“I don’t like needles, it’s that simple,” said Simek.
For music education major Jordan Ungiechajer, her fears were realized as the nurses had a difficult time finding her vein.
“I was afraid this would happen,” Ungiechajer said, as she winced with every sting of the needle.
It took a few tries from a few different phlebotomists before finally getting the correct vein. Other than that, they claimed there had been no other issues reported.